5-speed listening (Children and Pets - Level 5)

Pope says Italians should have babies, not pets






Try  Children and Pets - Level 4  |  Children and Pets - Level 6

ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

This useful resource has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for …

  • warm-ups
  • pre-reading and listening
  • while-reading and listening
  • post-reading and listening
  • using headlines
  • working with words
  • moving from text to speech
  • role plays,
  • task-based activities
  • discussions and debates
and a whole lot more.

More Listening

20 Questions  |  Spelling  |  Dictation


Birth rates are falling to alarmingly low levels. Japan and South Korea are worrying about their future economic viability. A conference in Italy has addressed Italy's upcoming demographic crisis. Italy has one of the world's lowest birth rates. There will be considerable strains on pensions and the welfare system as the population ages. The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has warned that having children is becoming unaffordable for many couples. He said starting a family is a "titanic effort" that only the rich can afford.

The Pope encouraged Italians to have more children. He cautioned couples for making "selfish, egotistical" choices that result in lower birth rates. He said this is threatening Italy's economic future. He said there was a "demographic winter". Italy saw a record low number of births last year (392,000) and an elevated number of deaths (713,000). The Pope urged couples to have babies instead of pets. The BBC said Italy is often dubbed as "the country of empty cribs". It quoted Elon Musk as tweeting that: "Italy is disappearing."

Other Levels

Try other levels. The listening is a little longer, with more vocabulary.

Children and Pets - Level 4  |  Children and Pets - Level 6

All Levels

This page has all the levels, listening and reading for this lesson.

← Back to the children and pets  lesson.

Online Activities

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You